Sometimes I have a bad day; we all do. Just a few days ago my spirit was heavy with uncertainty and worry. Impatiently waiting as I felt, more than watched, the twilight fade into inky darkness, I rushed to seek the shelter of sleep. Instead of the much longed for relief of slumber, I tossed and turned so much that my very patient dog, Teddie, who normally sleeps right next to me, got up, walked to the foot of the bed, circled several times before he plopped down causing an unexpected ripple from this ten pound poodle/fox hound mix. His rather loud sigh was an unmistakable message that seemed to say, “Let it go.”
My failure to heed that message caused me to continue to toss and turn, watching the red digits of the clock change from 10:04, then 10:07, then 10:10 and so on, until I finally startled awake at 3:13 a.m. discovering those same worries were right where I left them – swirling and churning as again the clock tracked my discontent with the flickering of time 3:14, 3:18, 3:20. The sounds of the alarm roused me, hysterical in its insistent challenge of another new day that covered me with a weariness I couldn’t throw off as easily as I did the blanket covering my body. I silenced this reminder by hitting the snooze button and covering my face with the cool side of the pillow.
After the third attempt to deny the day, I rose and went through my morning ritual by giving Teddie a kiss while absently scratching his ears as I quickly said my morning prayer, “Heavenly Father, thank you for this day for it is another day to rejoice for all who greet it. Thank you for this dog, who represents unconditional love and forgiveness and serves as a reminder of the same love you have for us. May I serve you and make you proud today.” Uttering amen, I knew that this half-hearted, shortened version of my morning prayer of thankfulness was only an effort to disguise my dark spirit.
My next step was to open my bedroom curtains gasping as I was greeted by a rainbow peeking above the tree line of the western horizon against a backdrop of ominous dark clouds. I hurried down the stairs and out onto the deck, welcoming the unexpected coolness of this southern August morning. The wind blew with enough gusto to tickle the green leaves of the trees; I relished their rustling response that felt like laughter. I listened closely, certain there was a whisper of comfort in their sound. Not yet able to discern their quiet message, I watched as the rainbow continued its journey, arching above the western horizon in harmony with the sun’s eastern assent.
Picking up Teddie I held him close as I sat in the old rocker, oblivious to its flaking paint and creaks. Teddie flipped over, happily demanding his morning belly rub. I felt as if comforting arms were holding me in their embrace as the reminder from Genesis 9:12-17 (Old Testament) brought me comfort:
“God said, “This is the sign of the promise I am giving to you and every living being that is with you for generations to come. I will put my rainbow in the clouds to be a sign of my promise to the earth. Whenever I form clouds over the earth, a rainbow will appear in the clouds. Then I will remember my promise to you and every living animal.”
“Okay. I can do this,” I thought just as the appearance of a smaller, fainter rainbow appeared next to the first one.
“Hmmmm. You know me well,” I smiled, casting my eyes upward to the rainbows. “You know I often need more than one reminder that you’ve got this. I have shelter, food, good health, family, friends and let’s not forget, the best dog ever who loves me unconditionally.”
As peace enveloped me, I whispered, “Just as you do.”
I buried my face in Teddie’s soft fur, tears of gratitude escaping my closed eyes. Once again, I raised my eyes toward the heavens discovering that the rainbows had disappeared, their reminder having been received. Even so, I felt a loss, wanting them back. I turned to go into the house and rejoiced to see that the eastern sky was filled with the same colors of the rainbows – reds, blues and yellows streaking the sky as the rising sun shared the sparkling light of its rays.
Looking into the twinkiling dark eyes of Teddie I smiled as he braced his fore paws on each of my shoulders and licked me right in my mouth (yikes!), as unexpected as the disappearance of the rainbows. I laughed right out loud as I rejoiced, “Teddie, did you know your name means ‘gift from God’?”
Teddie being Teddie, jumped down to chase a bird.
Joy filled me as I realized that those worrisome thoughts had vanished just like the rainbows, leaving hope for this moment and for this day with those glowing rays of sunshine; His promise fulfilled. Just as He said.
*I share my actual pictures are from that morning.